Why Trevor Noah kept his Daily Show exit a total secret and the real reason he's leaving

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  • Trevor Noah revealed the real reason for his surprise exit and more in a new tell-all interview.
  • According to the South African comedian, no one, not even his own representatives, knew he would make the announcement when he did.
  • Noah also shared his plans post-Daily Show, which includes a Broadway musical about apartheid.

In his first interview since announcing his Daily Show exit, Trevor Noah reveals everything from why he kept it a secret to why now was the best time for him to leave.

Chatting to The Hollywood Reporter's Lacey Rose, The South African comedian revealed that he kept his decision to leave the show a secret from everyone, including The Daily Show crew.

"He starts talking and talking, and I look at Zhubin [Parang, the show's writer and supervising producer], like, 'What is he doing? We're going to have to edit this,'" recalled showrunner Jen Flanz of the shocking reveal.

According to THR, not even Noah's representatives – who were en route to Toronto where he filmed his Netflix special the night after his announcement – knew he had planned to announce his exit.

"Part of the reason I did it that way is because I didn't want anybody to be the person who then tells somebody else, who then tells somebody else, who then tells somebody else... so for me, it felt like the most natural way to tell everybody at the same time."
-- Trevor Noah on keeping his Daily Show exit a secret.

Following his announcement, Noah knew his decision would impact everyone involved, prompting him to apologise every chance he got – something he says is a very South African thing to do.

"If you could choose a perfect emotion, obviously no one would be sad," he explains, not wanting to upset anyone, "but I'd rather people be sad than people be happy, like 'Good riddance, that dick is out of the building.'"

As for why he decided to drop the bombshell on a random Thursday, Noah says after strict restrictions during the pandemic, he realised just how much he was missing out on. 

He added that things have never been the same since returning to the studio after the pandemic lockdown regulations. "I found myself realising just how much I'd missed out on... [and] making the show wasn't as much fun anymore, either."

So, when his final show airs on 8 December, the 38-year-old will be travelling to Qatar to catch a few of the Soccer World Cup games, and then he'll be coming home to spend the festive season with his family.

Once the new year kicks off, Noah will travel worldwide for his Off The Record Tour, starting in the US on 20 January. 

He will also be working closely with his Day Zero production company, which has already prepped more than 30 projects across multiple platforms, including a scripted project based on Noah's early days immigrating to the US, a video game and a Broadway musical about apartheid with veteran producer Scott Sanders in the works.

And while Noah hopes to be successful in his endeavours, one thing he doesn't want more of is stardom.

"I think stardom is a byproduct of a job well executed, so that's not something I'm too concerned about. If anything, I wouldn't mind a little less stardom so I can eat a few meals uninterrupted."

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